The Sustainable Architecture Practice
Property accounts for 50% of the world's carbon emissions and accordingly there is increasing regulation around carbon in property. Designers, architects, developers and investors are increasingly focusing more on low carbon buildings and portfolios.
At the Low Carbon Building Design architectural practice, our aim is to deliver sustainable, inventive, but pragmatic building design solutions. We focus on giving professional advice and presenting clients a cost effective service. We have the theoretical knowledge and practical experience to develop and deliver low and zero carbon buildings. We understand how the built form and fabric interacts with the environment and our approach is to reduce environmental impacts without limiting the choices, quality or economics of the design.
Sustainability is our architectural practice priority. Sustainable design principals underpin all our work and we endeavour to take the lead in promoting best practice standards. At the heart of all our work is our clients’ vision. To protect our clients’ short and long term interests we provide advice on the opportunities to allow each project to meet and surpass mandatory requirements. We advocate appropriate solutions that fully reflect both current expectations and future aspirations, thus offering quality of life securing the comfort, health and wellbeing of users of all our buildings. Improving our client's quality and way of life while respecting our regional and national heritage and protecting the natural environment for the future generations are key principals of our ethos.
Our sustainability expertise allows us to advise on the active protection of social, environmental and economic interests across the Practice and throughout our processes. We can offer our clients advice on the conservation of resources and materials, both construction and when managing the complete buildings. The application of innovative building methods, alternative technologies, and the long term economic and environmental impact of developments and the local community and beyond are rigorously addressed.
We want our clients to know us for our imagination and expertise – expertise that is kept up to date by a comprehensive staff training programme and reinforced when needed by collaboration with other independent specialist consultants.
In order to make a building or development low carbon this is what we do:
- We develop upfront methodologies to deliver zero or low carbon developments
- We provide advice to maximise solar gain in the winter and provide shading in the summer
- Using software we analyse the availability of natural daylight to assist with the façade design
- We advise on sustainable and low embodied energy options for building materials
- We calculate the potential for renewable energy across the different technologies
- Where appropriate we provide design advice on water conservation and recycling
- We investigate the carbon footprint to show how it has been reduced through low carbon choices and offsets
- We monitor performance against targets and designs throughout the entire life cycle
We work in close collaboration with our engineering consultants from the earliest stage. When ever need they bring additional expertise in structural design. building services, mechanical and electrical engineering,
We have all the theoretical knowledge and expertise which enables us to provide holistic and integrated design strategies for low carbon buildings.
We can also help if you already have a building but want to make carbon reductions or turn it carbon neutral.
Low-Carbon Buildings also known as Green building,green construction or sustainable building refers to a structure and using procedure that is environmentally accountable and resource-efficient right through a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, process, upkeep, renovation, and destruction. This practice focuses on the building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. The general aim is that green buildings are designed to decrease the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
- Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
- Protecting residents health and improving employee productivity
- Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation.
Buildings single-handedly are accountable for 38% of every human GHG emissions (20% residential, 18% commercial). It is the industrial sector which adds mainly to Climate Change
What is a Low-Carbon Building?
Low-Carbon Buildings (LCB) are buildings specially designed to reduce greenhouse gas emmisions (GHG). A LCB has to attain at least 80% GHG reduction compared to traditional buildings.
GHG emissions linked with building construction are mostly coming from:
- Materials manufacturing (e.g., concrete)
- Materials transport
- Demolition wastes transport
- Demolition wastes treatment
The approach taken on by LCB to reduce GHG emissions throughout the construction contain:
- Reduce amount of materials used
- Decide on materials with low emissions factors associated (e.g., recycled materials)
- Decide on materials suppliers as local as possible from the construction site to reduce transport distances
- Redirect demolition wastes to recycling as an alternative of landfills or incineration
GHG emissions related with buildings process are mostly coming from:
- Electricity use
- Use of fossil fuels on-site for the making of electricity, hot water, heat, etc.
- On-site waste water treatment
- On-site solid wastes treatment
- Industrial processes housed in the buildings
The tactic taken on by LCB to condense GHG emissions throughout operation contain:
- Reduce energy consumption
- Switch to renewable energy sources
Renewable energy sources include:
- Low-impact hydro
- Biofuels (under certain conditions)
- Wave and tidal
Green buildings frequently take in procedures to diminish energy use. To amplify the efficiency of the building envelope, (the blockade among conditioned and unconditioned space), they may possibly make use of high-efficiency windows and insulation in the walls, ceilings, and floors. An additional approach, passive solar building design, is normally employed in low-energy homes. Shading devices are brought into play during the summer such as external shading devices (louvers) on the façade or trees to help shade the windows; the windows woould be orientated by the designer to help with solar energy as successful window placement (day lighting) can supply further natural light and reduce the call for for electric lighting through the day. Designers can maximise solar gain in winter.
Reducing water usage and caring for water quality are major points in sustainable building. One significant matter of water usage is that the demand on the providing aquifer surpass its potential to refill itself.
Building materials usually believed to be 'green' comprise quickly renewable plant materials for example bamboo (for the reason that bamboo grows speedily) and straw, lumber from forests certified to be sustainably managed, ecology blocks, dimension stone, recycled stone, recycled metal, and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable (e.g. Trass, Linoleum, sheep wool, panels made from paper flakes, compressed earth block, adobe, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linen, sisal, seagrass, cork, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fibre plates, calcium sand stone, concrete (high and ultra high performance, roman self-healing concrete) , etc.) The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) also suggests using recycled industrial goods, such as coal combustion products, foundry sand, and demolition debris in construction projects. Building materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimise the energy embedded in their transportation. Building elements should be manufactured off-site and delivered to site, to maximise benefits of off-site manufacture including minimising waste, maximising recycling (because manufacture is in one location), high quality elements, better OHS management, less noise and dust.
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